by Lauren Piester | Mon., Jul. 22, 2019 7:46 PM
Hannah Brown might have been one of the best Bachelorettes ever, but there's one question everyone couldn't stop asking: Why the hell did Luke Parker last so long?!
Hannah herself could see that the guy had serious issues, both in speaking to her alone and in speaking to the other men in the house. He lied to her, he lied to the guys, he held up a million red flags, and he made it all the way to the fantasy suites, where he finally got Hannah to see his truth when he shamed her just in case she had sex with one of the other guys.
Suddenly, her eyes were opened, and it was incredible to watch, but we all still had to wonder about the connection that was apparently there all that time. When Hannah took the hot seat at the Men Tell All special, she finally really figured out how to explain it, and it actually made some sense.
She's said before that with Luke, she felt "the closest thing" to feeling love at first sight.
"I think a lot of that came from being really insecure about being the Bachelorette in the first place," she explained. "I remember when I got the call from you, I was so excited, but also I had this doubt of, oh my gosh, like, are the guys gonna be disappointed? And, am I going to be able to live up to this standard that I thought I had to live up to?"
She says the first night there, she felt a "huge fear" about the intentions of the guys getting out of the limo.
"That night, Luke made me believe that he was there for me and gave me hope from the beginning, and I held onto that a lot longer than I should have, but it gave me safety," Hannah said. "OK, at least one guy's here for me. And you can't do that in a relationship. You have to actually look."
She said she was grateful to put that relationship behind her, and is glad to move forward.
"I deserved so much more than what I kind of put up with," she said.
Luke offered a sort of apology, but Hannah wasn't really having it.
"I think that there's a lot of fruit that needs to be grown from you," she told him.
Chris Harrison asked about Hannah's faith and that connection between her and Luke, and she explained that that was something they connected over, and that she was looking for "a man of God that had those same values," but then "that was almost weaponized" against her.
"I was, at the end, threatened by the shared faith that we had. And unfortunately, the people that believe the same thing I do do that a lot sometimes, using the same words and same things we believe to call out specific things and poke. And so the basis of what I believe is love and loving others and understanding and not shaming, and his love was contingent on if I did the things that he wanted me to do as he saw as a wife should do, not an unconditional love."
Hannah said she felt very much shamed when Luke confronted her about her sexual relationships with the other guys.
"Luke is really obsessed with sex and the fantasy suites being about sex, so I'll just tell everybody my sex life. But honestly, did I sit around being like, huh, who am I gonna have sex with in the fantasy suites? No, I didn't. That wasn't something planned, that wasn't something that really was everybody's business to know, and it wasn't your business to ever ask me."
"I am so over being slut-shamed and being felt like that makes me not a woman of faith," she continued later. "Because oh my gosh, like I live my life and make mistakes and sin every single day, and so do you, and so do you, and so do you, but that's what grace is for. And I'm also not gonna say that me having sex in a windmill was just the scarlet letter on my chest to have. I'm not gonna stand here and feel this way, and you're not gonna make me feel that way."
And she wasn't done!
"Those fantasy suites? That's not what they were about. It was about having a relationship where I grew really close to the men and knowing their heart," she explained. "It's not just about the physical, and that's where you're getting it realy, really wrong and misconstruing me as an individual and anybody who's ever gone into a fantasy suite before."
After the Tell All taping, Hannah told us she just spoke her truth.
"I know how I feel, and I just spoke off of my experiences and how I felt through them. I was ready to be able to talk to the guys and be able to talk to them about the things that they needed to say to me."
"Hannah was a boss," Chris Harrison told us. "She was an absolute boss tonight. It was the most empowering moment I've seen, but why? She was insecure, she was vulnerable, she was ashamed, she admitted all that. That's empowering, and I want my daughter to realize, I want other women and men to realize empowerment doesn't mean you're always the best, it doesn't mean you're always the strong one, it doesn't mean you're always a badass and you're always perfect. That's not empowerment. I think there's this weird misconception right now about empowerment. Empowerment comes from being vulnerable, it comes from being weak, it comes from owning that, getting up when you've been knocked down, wiping up the dust and moving on. That's Hannah. That's the definition of Hannah, and that's why I love her, and that's why I'm proud of her."
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The Bachelorette's finale will air next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.